Taking pride in your substitute teaching job will ensure that you will get called back to substitute teach more often. The five most effective ways I have found to be sought out for substitute teaching jobs is to be flexible, be prepared, do a good job, be reliable, and most importantly to enjoy yourself!
The majority of the time the school secretary will be the key to receiving substitute teaching assignments. Imagine as a secretary, going down a list of potential substitute teachers to call, and one after another either they are either not home or they do not want a “short assignment”. When the school calls you, be willing to accept whatever assignment they give you. This will place you high on their list of priority calls. Frequently, these “short details” will evolve into “longer details”.
Although you will often have little to no time to prepare for the classes you are going to be teaching for the day, there are a few things you can do to get yourself ready. Most schools require teachers to have their lesson plans submitted to the office by Monday for the week ahead. Lesson plans are often posted online for the students to use, so that they know what the assignments are going to be for the week. This is a great resource for you to use, to see what the teacher has planned for the day/week ahead. If you are fortunate to enough to know that you will be teaching soon and have a day to plan ahead, its always a great idea to try and meet briefly with the teacher you are going to be subbing for, to see and learn about what they have planned and to review the material.
Do a Good Job
Since you are a guest in the school you are visiting, do the best job possible while you are there. Follow the lesson plans of the normal teacher to the letter. Leave good notes for the returning teacher. Let the regular teacher know exactly how the day went and what was accomplished and not accomplished. Write down the names of students who were helpful and not so helpful. Clean up the classroom before you leave and follow any instructions they have left for you to follow.
Always show up a few minutes before you are supposed to arrive. This will give you more preparation time for the day ahead. Never take an assignment you cannot keep. The school is relying on you to be there. If you do not show up for some reason, you will likely never be called back again. Breaking a commitment puts the school in a difficult position and will likely not be forgotten.
Enjoying the time while you are subbing, will help you get along better with the students, make the day go faster and show the school that you really want to be there. I truly believe that enjoyment is contagious; if you spread it around it is likely others will catch it as well!